Archive for the ‘Mariusz Pudzianowski’ Category

The title of this blog post is no lie – this time last year Mariusz Pudzianowski was in the Polish version of Just The Two of Us which is a UK originating show that pairs a famous singer with another celebrity not from the world of music and they perform duets voted for by the public.

Pudzianowski’s partner was Anna Wisniewska who was famous for being the live singer of Air Supply, a group she joined after winning an audition to replace lead singer Justine Majkowska. The two of them actually came second, losing out to eventual winners Paulina Sykut (Television Presenter) and Ivan Komarenko. Judge for yourself how good you think 5 time World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski is at singing:


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There have been many people coming to this blog after searching for an answer as to why 5 time WSM winner Mariusz Pudzianowski was not competing this year. Back in March I wrote a post reporting that Pudzianowski would be concentrating on his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career instead. Mariusz won his first fight against Marcin Najman in December 2009, and then fought twice in May of 2010. Having 2 MMA fights in one month is unhheard of, gone are the days when people fought multiple times in a day like used to happen in UFC and PRIDE. His second MMA fight was on May 7th 2010 where he beat Yusuke Kawaguchi by unanimous decision at KSW XIII. Then, just 2 weeks later on May 21st, he fought and lost to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia by submission to punches on round 2 at Moosin: God of Martial Arts in America.

Fast forward to September 2010 and this was when World’s Strongest Man 2010 was taking place in South Africa, but instead of taking part Mariusz Pudzianowski instead had a fight against Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch at KSW XIV. Butterbean made his name as Super Heavyweight boxer and even had a boxing match at WrestleMania 14 against Bart Gunn. Pudzianowski made short work of Esch, taking him down early in the first round and then making him submit from punches. However, it’s not as simple as that as many people are saying the fight was fixed and Esch was fed to Pudzianowski in a bid to raise his profile.

I’ll let you judge for yourself, watch and see what you think.

In the fights I’ve seen Esch involved he’s never been very good once on the floor, and he is getting on a bit. Despite having some early success against credible opponents, he’s been a bit of a freak show attraction in recent years. Whether Pudzianowski’s punches had enough power to make anyone submit has been the topic of many an argument in the MMA world, what do you think?

What is evident is the weight loss and muscle mass that has disappeared from Pudzianowski’s once Herculean frame. No doubt this was done to improve stamina but he’s hardly recognisable as the man who won World’s Strongest Man 5 times and thrilled the crowds with his feats of strength. If he were ever to compete in Strongman again, could he get back to the level he once was? I’d hazard a guess that he could, after all there are few that have ever trained as hard as Pudzianowski.

He doesn’t have another fight planned yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for any news, though ideally I would like him to return to the world of Strongman as I’d rather see him battling Savickas in the Farmers Walk than an old has been in an MMA ring.

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In the UK World’s Strongest Man (WSM) starts tonight, not sure about the rest of the world. On Bravo at 8pm is the first of 3 Giants Live competitions that usually talk about being qualifiers for the main WSM competition, even though we then see qualifiers from elsewhere. Confused? Yeah, me too, and the people involved in WSM probably too!

I haven’t updated it in months as I was scared of spoiling the competition as I did last year. There were so many visits to my blog from people searching Zydrunas Savickas that it didn’t take a genius to figure out who had won. Fast forward to this year and I can’t resist blogging about something I love so much, but to avoid having the result spoiled for the second year I won’t be looking at stats or comments until the final has been televised on New Year’s Eve.

For those wanting to see TV broadcast dates in the UK and US, take a look at the official website.

So, looking ahead to the 2010 competition, and what will we see?

I have my favourites, those being Derek Poundstone, Terry Hollands and Travis Ortmayer. I believe any of these is capable of winning but I can’t look past 2009 winner Zydrunas Savickas. When he’s on form, which is most of the time, he’s unstoppable as we saw last year. There’s no Mariusz Pudzianowski this year, at least that’s what I last read a few months ago, when he stated he’d not being competing in WSM but concentrating on his MMA career instead. Brian Shaw is another one to look out for, coming in third last year and he looked very strong in doing so. My heart says Poundstone, my head says Savickas.

Can anyone beat Hollands in the plane pull?
I asked this question to Kevin Nee at WSM Experience 2010 and he agreed that Hollands was perfectly built for this event and incredibly hard to beat. One thing to bear in mind is that last year he won the event even after injuring his hand in the Giant Farmer’s Walk, so watch out everyone, the plane could be taking off this year!

The Brits
If he’s fully recovered from his injury then Terry Hollands has to be the favourite of the Brits for success, though he’s struggled to match his 3rd place in 2007. Lauence Shahlaei finished 9th in last year’s competition but he surprised me by even reaching the final, and did fantastically well coming to second to Pudzianowski in the aforementioned Giant farmer’s Walk. Always close to the final and sometimes reaching it is dead lift specialist Mark Felix and we also need to look out for Darren Sadler, who despite being one of the shortest competitors in WSM, was a whisker away from making last year’s finals

That’s all for now – please leave a comment on any of the upcoming posts and I’ll promise to read and respond to them when I know who’s been crowned World’s Strongest Man 2010.

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After winning 5 World’s Strongest man titles between 2002 and 2008, and being beaten into 2nd place in 2009’s competition by Zydrunas Savickas, Mariusz Pudzianowski has announced that he will be taking part in World’s Strongest Man 2010, as reported by ironmind.com.

World's Strongest Man 2005

Pudzianowski will instead be focussing on his new career of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). His first MMA fight was at KSW XII where he beat his opponent, professional boxer Marcin Najman, in under a minute.

Pudzianowski v Najman at KSW XII

His next fight will be at KSW XIII where he will is rumoured to be fighting Robert Paczków, a former Greco-Roman wrestler, turned Sumo Wrestler. If this does turn out to be Pudzianowski’s opponent he’ll at least match up to the 5-time World’s Strongest Man in terms of size a lot more favourably than Marcin Najman, who looked tiny compared to Pudzianowski.

Looking forward to World’s Strongest Man 2010 and it looks like it’s Zydrunas Savickas’s competition to lose, and a 2nd consecutive title is his for the taking. It was only Mariusz Pudzianowski that got anywhere near Big Z at World’s Strongest Man 2009. We have to look towards the likes of Brian Shaw, Derek Poundstone, Travis Ortmayer and Terry Hollands to take the battle to the huge Lithuanian and stop him walking away with the title.

Some new blood in the competition would be good – maybe it’s time for the return of Vasyl Virastyuk, the man who won the world’s Strongest Man 2004 competition before going to compete in the rival IFSA Strongman. He’s never been invited back since, though Zydrunas Savickas also split off to compete in IFSA Strongman, so there is hope that Virastyuk could compete in World’s Strongest Man once again, and with the non-appearance of Mariusz Pudzianowski, the time is right.

Vasyl Virastyuk

There is also Mikhail Koklyaev, a man who has always done well in the Arnold Strongman Classic and looked on course for a good showing at World’s Strongest Man 2009 before coming down with an injury which meant he never even made the heats in the end.

There’s no denying that no Mariusz Pudzianowski in World’s Strongest Man 2010 is a great disappointment, and not seeing him go for revenge against Zydrunas Savickas has taken away from the upcoming competition. That said, there are a lot of talented trongmen the world over, all of who will see this an opportunity to make a name for themselves, and that in itself could see World’s Strongest Man 2010 as a fiercer battle than ever before.

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Thanks for the heads up from Chris Hawkes that the full results for Day 2 are up on the official website, and here they are:

Circus Dumbbell Lift
1st Derek Poundstone – 10 points
2nd Zydrunas Savickas – 8.5 points
2nd Travis Ortmayer – 8.5 points
4th Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 7 points
5th Brian Shaw – 6 points
6th Dave Ostlund – 5 points
7th Kostiantyn Ilin – 4 points
8th Phil Pfister – 3 points
9th Nick Best – 1.5 points
9th Brian Siders – 1.5 points

Tire Deadlift
1st Zydrunas Savickas – 10 points
2nd Brian Shaw – 9 points
3rd Derek Poundstone – 8 points
4th Travis Ortmayer – 7 points
5th Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 6 points
6th Nick Best – 5 points
7th Kostiantyn Ilin – 4 points
8th Brian Siders – 3 points
9th Dave Ostlund – 2 points
10th Phil Pfister – 1 point

Timber Carry
1st Derek Poundstone – 10 points
2nd Zydrunas Savickas – 9 points
3rd Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 8 points
4th Travis Ortmayer – 7 points
5th Dave Ostlund – 6 points
6th Phil Pfister – 5 points
7th Brian Shaw – 4 points
8th Kostiantyn Ilin – 3 points
9th Nick Best – 2 points
10th Brian Siders 1 point

Timber Carry (Photo courtesy of arnoldstrongmanclassic.com)

The final standings were as follows:

1st Derek Poundstone – 45 points
2nd Zydrunas Savickas – 41 points
3rd Travis Ortmayer – 37.5 points
4th Mikhail “Misha” Koklyaev – 37 points
5th Brian Shaw – 33 points
6th Dave Ostlund – 22.5 points
7th Phil Pfister – 20.5 points
8th Kostiantyn Ilin – 17 points
9th Nick Best – 13 points
10th Brian Siders – 8.5 points

A great competition for Derek Poundstone and some amount of payback against Zydrunas Savickas and his victory at World’s Strongest Man 2009. Now we can look forward to the World’s Strongest Man 2010 and a titanic battle between these two powerhouses, as well as 5 time World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski and the likes of Travis Ortmayer, Brian Shaw and Terry Hollands.

After winning the Arnold Strongman Classic 2010, this is the moment Derek Poundstone proposed to his girlfriend Kristin Nelson:

She said yes! (Photo courtesy of arnoldstrongmanclassic.com)

Also worth mentioning that Derek Poundstone has also just launched his official website: Poundstone Power

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Over at the World’s Strongest Man Facebook page the following question was asked:

What are everybodies predictions for WSM 2010? Will Zydrunas triumph again, or will Mariusz regain his crown? Or will one of the new promising Americans take the trophy?

A small comment turned into a lot more, so much so that I decided it was blogworthy – so here is my answer…

I had Derek Poundstone to win the 2009 event, and think he’ll be in the mix for 2010 as well.

If you consider that Travis Ortmayer was still getting over the flu which plagued him in the heats then he could certainly improve on the 5th place he got in 2008 and 2009.

Can you really look past Savickas and Pudzianowski though? If Pudz had done better in Giant Farmer’s Walk it would have been so much closer, and I think psychologically Savickas went away from that first event with a massive edge. Then if Savickas had done better in the Boat Pull he’d have won without the need for Atlas Stones. Will Pudzianowski, content with a record breaking 5 wins dedicate his time to MMA now?

Of the Brits it’s all about Terry Hollands, if you want to see a Brit victorious anyway. Hollands finished so well and look how awesome he was at the Plane Pull! More training on his weaker events and Big Tel will be a major force.

Brian Shaw is another one to look out for – 3rd place in his first ever final, and looked good for more points with another 12 months of experience – there’s a huge future for this guy.

There’s also a decent crop of newcomers – Laurence Shahlaei only achieved 9th in this year’s final but he came on so much in 12 months, that if he does the same again he could be a real force. Ervin Katona looked great in the heats, especially when considering it was his first appearance in World’s Strongest Man. More experience could see this guy a long way.

I think the 2010 heats will be fantastic, and the 10 guys who make it through to the final will have done so from working damn hard. To that end we could see one of the most competitive WSM finals ever – that’s a huge win for us, the fans!

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The World’s Strongest Man 2009 final was broadcast 4 days ago (in the UK), so now it’s time to look a bit closer at the numbers and see what we can gleam from that. First of all let’s look at the points scored by all competitors across all the events. You can click the image for a bigger, more legible version.

World's Strongest Man 2009 Final Results

One thing that stands out immediately is the 3 event victories by eventual winner Zydrunas Savickas, and when you see that he was runner up in a further 2 it’s clear that he was destined to lift this year’s trophy. If it wasn’t for such a poor performance in the Boat Pull, where he placed 8th, then his lead would have been even more than the 5 points it ended up being.

Of the 4 events that Savickas didn’t win, there were 4 different winners, which just go to show how open the field was this year. While it’s surprising after the last 6 years that Mariusz Pudzianowski was only victorious in 1 event, it’s just as surprising to me, given his form in last year’s final, the Giants Live Tour and his heat, that Derek Poundstone didn’t win any of the 7 events. In fact I’m surprised that Poundstone only finished 4th. Was he performing at his highest level or were the others just that much better on a more consistent basis?

Although he suffered from the flu during the heats, and it’s possible he hadn’t recovered by the time of the final, Travis Ortmayer was so good across all the other events that just one place better in the Giant farmer’s Walk, where he came last, would have seen him overtake Poundstone for 4th place overall. In fact a few more places better and he’d have climbed up to 3rd place and snatched Brian Shaw’s podium place. Speaking of Brian Shaw, what a fantastic performance in his first ever World’s Strongest Man final. The other competitors just have to hope there is no Boat Pull in World’s Strongest Man 2010 or that’s a guaranteed 10 points for Shaw – he’s that good.

The first 6 places are not too far apart, but the gap between Terry Hollands in 6th and Phil Pfister in 7th was a massive 12.5 points. Phil Pfister is no first timer at World’s Strongest Man, if you remember he famously beat Mariusz Pudzianowski in 2007 to become the champion. The level of competition was furiously high for World’s Strongest Man 2009, and Pfister’s points haul is clear evidence of that.

After looking at the numbers I was interested to see how the positions changed from event to event as the final progressed, so I plotted all the numbers into Excel and this is what we get. As before, click the image for a bigger version.

World's Strongest Man 2009 Final Progress

What stands out straight away is that only 2 competitors stayed in the same position throughout the duration of the final; Zydrunas Savickas in 1st, and Louis-Philippe Jean in 10th. In fact there wasn’t a great deal of position changing, most notable is Dave Ostlund’s gradual decline from his 2nd place finish in the Fingal’s Fingers to his eventual 8th place finish.

Travis Ortmayer dropped considerably after coming last in the Giant Farmer’s Walk but you can see how he claws his way back to 5th place after the Overhead Lift, where he stayed until the very end. Looking at the graph, after his disastrous (by his standards) 6th place finish in Fingal’s Fingers, Mariusz Pudzianowski was the most consistent performer. Had he performed better in that first event the whole competition could have gone a very different way, the psychological factor can never be under-estimated in World’s Strongest Man.

It’s interesting to see that after the Boat Pull the only position changes were that of Lauence Shahlaei overtaking Dave Ostlund for 8th place after the Deadlift, and then Ostlund retaking that 8th position again after the Atlas Stones. Those two aside, the positions for the 8 competitors stayed the same from the after the Boat Pull to the end.

If I can get access to the individual event results from previous competitions then I’d like to analyse those in a similar fashion. If you have those results then please email me or leave a comment. Any feedback, as always, is gratefully appreciated – I hope you enjoyed this different look at the World’s Strongest Man 2009 final, I know I did!

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